Encyclopedias as Topic
Botanically, a type of single-seeded fruit in which the pericarp enclosing the seed is a hard woody shell. In common usage the term is used loosely for any hard, oil-rich kernel. Of those commonly eaten, only hazel, filbert, and chestnut are strictly nuts. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, and coconuts are really drupes. Brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamias, and cashews are really seeds with a hard shell derived from the testa rather than the pericarp.